OXFORD United Women have launched a development side to help bridge the gap between youth and senior football.

The squad will feed into the U’s first team, who play in the FA Women’s National League Southern Premier Division under Liam Gilbert.

United are aiming to increase chances for players graduating from their Regional Talent Centre (RTC), which works with ages eight to 16.

Gilbert told United’s official website: “I want to thank the club for backing us in what we see as an essential move to strengthen the work we have done over the last couple of years in building a clear women’s development path.

“This will allow the players to take that next step up from playing in age groups to playing regularly in a senior league.

“That is not just going to help them as players, but it’s also going to help the whole club continue to grow.”